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Why Promotional Products Should Be Part of Your Marketing Mix

Promotional Products

Do you use promotional products as part of your marketing mix? If the answer is “no” or “not yet,” you might want to put the idea on the table. Why? Because promotional products work.

The Advertising Specialties Institute (ASI) has been running its annual Ad Impressions Study for over a decade, and the data tell a powerful tale.

Let’s take a look at some of the most recent numbers.

America’s Favorite Form of Advertising

Promotional products are Americans’ favorite form of advertising. When consumers were asked to rank seven different types of ads, promotional products came out on top. Here’s how the different channels ranked:

  1. Promotional products
  2. Radio
  3. Newspaper
  4. Television
  5. Magazine
  6. Mobile
  7. Internet

Promotional products as “America’s favorite” crosses gender and age demographics. Both men and women ranked promotional products number one. Every age bracket—from 18–24 to 65+—did, too.

Love It, Use It, Wear It
U.S. consumers love their promotional products so much, in fact, that they tend to hang onto them. This gives advertisers positive exposure, both to the wearer (or user) of the product and to everyone else they come into contact with.

How long do consumers keep promotional products? It depends on the product. For example, nearly two-thirds (61%) of consumers keep promotional outerwear for 2+ years or longer. Nearly two-thirds (63%, 62%, respectively) keep and use a promotional drinkware or calendar for one year or longer. More than half (52%) of people given a promotional writing instrument say they would keep and use it for at least a year.

Over the time people own, use, and wear promotional products, these products get thousands and thousands of impressions.  

For example:

  • Polo shirts—2,106 impressions
  • Headwear—3,380 impressions
  • Outerwear/fleece—7,856 impressions
  • Desk accessories —2,314 impressions
  • Writing instruments—2,436 impressions

Offering Great CPIs

This longevity means that each impression from a promotional product costs very little. A metal pen that costs $1 will have a cost per impression of less than 1/10 of a cent. An insulated travel mug that costs $10 will have a cost per impression of 1/3 of a cent. Even the CPI for a $20 moisture-wicking performance shirt is less than one cent.

These impressions have tremendous value for an advertiser. ASI studies consistently show that giving someone a promotional product increases the likelihood that they will do business with them.

For example,

  • 41% of consumers who receive outerwear/fleece and performance wear say they are more likely to do business with the advertiser who gave it to them.
  • 30% of consumers given a logoed pen are more likely to do the same.
  • 26% of consumers who have been given bags and health products are more likely to do business with the advertiser.

Promotional products change behavior!

Matching Promo Products to the Target Audience

Different products are more motivating for different types of consumers, such as men vs. women, different age demographics, geographic location. In fact, did you know that promotional headwear is more impactful in the Northeast than any other region? But if you’re looking marketing in the Southwest, try a polo shirt.

That’s why, just like any other type of advertising, choosing the right promotional product depends on your campaign goals. What are you trying to achieve? Raising brand awareness? Direct sales? Which demographic are you targeting? Different promotional products will match up better with different audiences and goals.

So how do you get it right? That’s where we can help. We know the promotional products market, so talk to us about your target audience and what you are trying to achieve. There are lots of great promotional products out there. Let us help you choose the right one to match your goals.